suicide prevention

(this blog entry was posted june 1st 2010 on a blog i used before this one)

this may be one of the most important posts that i write. this is a story that must be shared so it can make a spark and start a fire.12 years ago today, i lost my best friend to suicide. we were both 14 years old. this past wednesday may 27th, i wrote the following...

"may 27th...

in 1998
was a
you were here.
were here.
both 14.
i don't recall
what happened that day.
i just know
you were here.
may 30th
was a
my memory takes me to that
i slept in late.
woke up,
turned the tv on
and laid in that daybed
that never made sense to me.
the phone rang.
that maroon phone
with a spiral cord
the length of a football field.
it was
extended an invitation
that i have forever been
grateful for
and before i knew it
your dad's big brown boat of a car
was in my driveway
in the backseat
and fleetwood mac on the speakers.
we cruised through bolster's mills
windows down
wind whipping through our hair
music blasting
belting out
i'd pause in my singing
to let
break it down.
we were on our way
to "grannie girl's" to race through the
on the 4-wheeler.
i held onto the steering bar
so tight
that a blister the size of a half dollar
formed on my right palm.
buttercups decorating our hair
and endless laughter
i ignored the pain.
later on it would take
holding my left hand
as "grannie girl" cleaned the dirt out with peroxide
to keep me calm.
you never saw the scar that blister ended up leaving
but i rubbed it everyday til it
may 31st
was a sunday.
i woke up with
spent another glorious
day with
i said i'd see
and i walked out the door.
the memories of that
are so
the hair dye. the dinner. the playplace. the movie gallery run in. sunday school. pretty woman. the water bottles.
walking by a cemetery
on our way to the river.
not knowing
that my truest comfort after
this weekend
would be there.
if i close my eyes
i can see
but i can't.
the visions i have are
visions of photographs
captured in.
not, visions of a physical face.
this pisses me off more than anything.
if i drown out the world
i can't hear
this crushes my soul.
if only i still had that
um plick plick cassette.
if only 5161 led me to
it was monday
june 1st
i wore to school some baggy ass jnco jeans
had always begged me to wear.
they were
they were too long and they fell off my hips.
i also had on
adidas shirt.
2 sizes too big.
i was a "wigga, yo" and
would have been proud.
but i didn't see
that day.
i searched the halls
and anxiously awaited 10 minute break.
i didn't feel good.
i went to the nurse and asked to go home.
the first thing i thought of doing when i got there
was to call
i ended up staying until 1 something when my mum
picked me up
early and
teary eyed.
i resisted.
did you see me fight going?
did you hear me yelling at her?
did you follow me back to my classroom and then to my locker
so i could stall?
were you in the backseat as we drove to the parking lot down the street?
we stopped.
did you hear my mum tell me to buckle my seat belt and
lock my door?
did you feel my heart racing?
did you hear my mum tell me that
did you unbuckle my seat belt and open my door?
because i don't remember doing it.
did you work with my mum to pull me back in the car?
did you help me escape again?
did you sit with us
and cry?
you didn't help me catch my breath
i was left gasping,
you took it with you.
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
12 years.
almost been gone
as long as
were here.
i have yet to catch my breath
that extra lung expansion
that takes it a little
i can't find it.
in these years that have passed
i've seen
a lot.
a lot of tears.
a lot of laughter.
a lot of love.
a lot of rain.
a lot of sun.
and i know,
have too.
sometimes i feel
its undeniable.
sometimes i see
its indescribable.
other times,
when i want to be with
so bad
i go
to that cemetery.
and i drive down the little dirt pathway to
i stop. i get out. i walk over. i stop.
i kiss my fingertips. i place them on
i walk around the stone.
though invisible now
i still can make out the outline.
(just like the scar on my palm)
i lay down.
6 feet above
and cry.
and if i couldn't before, i feel
i hear it everyday.
stories of loss.
and i can empathize
in every way.
it breaks my heart a little more
when the stories are stories of
because i know.
i know what it's like to hear
laugh one day
and wake up the next and never be able to hear it
because i know what it's like to have
buttercups in my hair
my best friend with me
thinking that life goes on forever
only to wake up and never be able to pass another buttercup again without thinking of
because i know what it's like
to have the carpet ripped out from underneath me
and to be left on a cold cement floor.
not here.
i've spent the past 4,300 and some odd days
coming to terms with that.
i've smiled in the memories.
cried in the memories.
i often find myself remembering the 1st of the 8 times
saw titanic together in the theater.
cried when rose laid on that floating piece of boat
unstuck her hand from jack's and said
"i'll never let go."
i'm pretty sure i laughed.
later on in the movie,
rose died. an old lady.
just like jack said.
the camera panned through old photographs
of rose, embarking on adventures
she'd only spoken about with
i didn't recognize this.
"she's doing all the things she told jack she wanted to do and all the things jack said he wanted to do with her."
the force that has pushed me through these past 12 years
and will continue pushing until i die
an old lady warm in my bed,
are the things
never got to do.
to see.
to touch.
to feel.
to experience.
to hear.
it's not fair.
i know.
i knew that as a 14 year old
and i know that as a 26 year old.
but i cope.
hundreds of "how do you deal with the pain?" questions
have been asked.
and the response remains the same
"i just do."
it's there.
it reminds me that
were here. "

Its not okay that my best friend isn't here. It's not okay that every day there are 11 youth suicides. It's not okay that suicide rates in children ages 10-14 have doubled in the last 2 decades. It's not okay that every year there are over 34,000 completed suicides. Did you know that in the United States, every 15 minutes a suicide is completed and every minute a suicide attempt is made? This is not okay.

None of this is okay because it is all preventable.

After my friend passed, I wanted to become involved in youth suicide prevention. I wanted to reach out and help others. Trouble was, I was 14. I didn't understand why my friend was no longer here. I didn't understand what I was supposed to do with the signs she showed that I did nothing about. I didn't understand how I was going to help others, when I couldn't even find a way to help myself. Yet. The past 12 years have been a rough road to recovery and I don't see the end of that road anytime soon. I've vented to and cried on many many supportive family and friends. Time has healed and it continues to do so. Today, I made the call. I contacted a woman in charge of suicide prevention here in Maine, I told her my story and told her that after all these years, I'm ready to reach out and support whoever, wherever I can. We have an appointment to talk further on Thursday.

It is so so so crucial to reach out to people in need of awareness, support, intervention and love. If you or someone you know or love needs help, please call 1-800-273-TALK. You're not alone. You're not judged. You're not unloved. You are valuable and of tremendous worth.

For more information on how you can help, please visit:

NAMI Maine
Out of the Darkness Community Walks
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Youth Suicide Prevention Program
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(in the 2 years that have passed since i wrote this post i have attended a workshop and become a certified public speaker through NAMI of Maine's Survivors of Suicide Loss and was the recipient of the C.A.L.M.E. (Caring About Lives in Maine) award. A huge thank you to everyone who supported me along the way, i wouldn't have had the courage or strength without you.)

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